Maid of the Mist

Coordinates: 43°05′11″N 79°04′04″W / 43.0865°N 79.0679°W / 43.0865; -79.0679

The Maid of the Mist is a sightseeing boat tour of Niagara Falls, starting and ending on the American side, crossing briefly into Canada during a portion of the trip.

Maid of the Mist 8 1 20.jpg
The James V. Glynn is one of two all-electric Maid of the Mist vessels.
History
In service2020
General characteristics
Length90 feet (27 m)
Depth6 feet (1.8 m)
PropulsionLithium-ion battery packs power the all-electric motor

The fleet currently consists of two vessels, both of which launched in 2020. The James V. Glynn was named in honor of the Maid of the Mist Chairman and CEO, who in 2020 celebrated 70 years with the company, and the Nikola Tesla, for the man who invented the alternating current (AC) motor, the standard form of electricity that is used in American homes to this day. Tesla’s invention prompted George Westinghouse to invite him to join his team that won the bid to build the power plant at Niagara Falls.[1] Prior to the current two boats, all prior ships had been named Maid of the Mist, dating back to 1846. The first ships were steam powered; these were replaced by diesel-powered vessels from 1955 until 2019, and later replaced with the current two boats powered by lithium-ion battery-powered electric motors.

The name, Maid of the Mist, could be a reference to the Iroquois myth of Lelawala.[2]

HistoryEdit

The United StatesEdit

The original Maid of the Mist was built at a landing near Niagara Falls on the American side of the border.[3] The boat was christened in 1846 as a border-crossing ferry;[4] its first trip was on September 18, 1846.[5] The two-stage barge-like steamer was designed primarily as a link for a proposed ferry service between New York City and Toronto. It was a 72-foot-long side-wheeler with an 18-foot beam which was powered by steam produced from a wood- and coal-fired boiler. It could carry up to 100 passengers.[6]

The ferry did well until 1848, when the opening of a suspension bridge between the United States and Canada cut into the ferry traffic. It was then that the owners decided to make the journey a sightseeing trip, plotting a journey closer to the Falls.

The present day Maid of the Mist Corporation was formed in 1884 by Captain R. F. Carter and Frank LaBlond,[7] who invested in a new Maid that would launch in 1885.[8][9] Captain Carter and Mr. LaBlond hired Alfred H. White from Port Robinson, Ontario to build the new ship.[citation needed] A letter in the archives of the Buffalo Historical Society from Mr. LaBlond to Alfred White says that they are well pleased with the vessel and asks Alfred to add a wale onto the boat.[citation needed]

The service is run by Maid of the Mist Corp. of Niagara Falls, New York. Maid of the Mist has been owned by the Glynn family since 1971.[10]

James V. Glynn is chairman and chief executive officer of Maid of the Mist Corp. Glynn joined Maid of the Mist in 1950 as a ticket seller, and purchased the company in 1971. During his tenure, Maid of the Mist expanded operations, achieving ten-fold growth.[citation needed]

CanadaEdit

Access to the river-level attraction on the Canadian side was provided by the Maid of the Mist Incline Railway, a funicular railway, between 1894 and 1990, to travel between street level and the boat dock.[11] As this service proved increasingly inadequate in transporting the growing passenger base of the 1990s, four high-speed elevators replaced the railway in 1991. On the American side, the dock is reached by four elevators enclosed in the observation tower.[12]

The Russel Brothers of Owen Sound, Ont. made two all steel Maids for the Niagara Falls gorge, in 1955 and 1956.[13] The first one is now based in Parry Sound, Ont. and runs dinner cruises and day excursions. The second Maid was sold in 1983 to the United Pentecostal Church of Ontario and destined for missionary service in the Amazon. Maid of the Mist II took part in the 9 July 1960, rescue of Roger Woodward, a seven-year-old boy who became the first person to survive a plunge over the Horseshoe Falls with nothing but a life jacket. Maid of the Mist II served as a Maid of the Mist until 1983. Subsequently she was relocated to the Amazon River, where she served as a missionary ship for some years.[14]

A partial history of Maid of the Mist is featured in the IMAX film Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic.[15]

Notable passengersEdit

While on his 1860 tour of Canada, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), rode on Maid of the Mist.[16]

In June 1952, Marilyn Monroe rode the Maid of the Mist while in Niagara Falls to film the movie, Niagara.[17]

Mikhail Gorbachev was a passenger in 1983.[10]

In 1991, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and their two young sons, Princes William and Harry, rode on Maid of the Mist.[18]

In 2009, NBC-TV's popular sit-com The Office filmed scenes on Maid of the Mist. The episode centered on the wedding of the characters Jim and Pam.

BoatsEdit

Original shipsEdit

The first series boats to bear the "Maid of the Mist" moniker were steam-powered wooden-hulled ferries. These were in use until an early-season fire destroyed the last of them in 1955.

First Maid of the Mist [19]

  • Years of service: 1846–1854
  • Type: double-stack steamboat ferry
  • Engine: one sidewheel steam

Second Maid of the Mist[20]

  • Years of service: 1854–1860
  • Length: 72 feet (22 m)
  • Type: single-stack steamer
  • Engine: paddle boat
 
Maid of the Mist I, published c. 1901
 
Stereoscopic view of Maid of the Mist II, c. 1896–1906

Third Maid of the Mist[20]

  • Years of service: 1885–1955
  • Type: steam boat

Fourth Maid of the Mist[20]

  • Years of service: 1892–1955
  • Type: white oak steamboat
  • Length: 89 feet (27 m)
  • Engine: two-engine steam

Diesel vesselsEdit

After a fire destroyed the last of the wooden-hulled steamers, they were replaced by steel-hulled, diesel powered ferries, launched in 1955 and 1956. About every 20 years or so, new ships were added to the fleet, of increasingly larger capacity; the initial Maid of the Mist held only 101 passengers, while the last of the diesel-powered vessels, Maid of the Mist VII, could hold up to 600. The last of these were retired in 2019, to be replaced by an electric-powered fleet.

Maid of the Mist I[20]

  • Years of service: 1955–1990
  • Length: 66 feet (20 m)
  • Engine: 200-horsepower (150 kW) diesel engines
  • Passengers: 101

Maid of the Mist II[20]

  • Years of service: 1956–1983
  • Type: all-steel boat, twin of I
  • Engine: 200-horsepower (150 kW) diesel engines
  • Passengers: 101
 
Maid of the Mist boarding dock, 1976
 
View of Niagara Falls from Maid of the Mist
 
Maid of Mist IV and Maid of Mist VII

Maid of the Mist III[20]

  • Years of service: 1972–1997
  • Length: 65 feet (20 m)
  • Gross tonnage: 75[21]
  • Engine: single 250-horsepower (190 kW) diesel
  • Passengers: 210

Maid of the Mist IV[20]

  • Years of service: 1976–2013
  • Length: 72 feet (22 m)
  • Gross tonnage: 75[22]
  • Engine: two 250-horsepower (190 kW) diesel
  • Passengers: 300

Maid of the Mist V[20]

  • Years of service: 1983–2013
  • Length: 72 feet (22 m)
  • Gross tonnage: 74[23]
  • Engine: two 355-horsepower (265 kW) diesel
  • Passengers: 300

Maid of the Mist VI[20]

  • Years of service: 1990–2019
  • Length: 74 feet (23 m)
  • Breadth: 30 feet (9.1 m)
  • Depth: 10 feet (3.0 m)
  • Gross tonnage: 155[24]
  • Engine: two 355-horsepower (265 kW) diesel
  • Passengers: 600

Maid of the Mist VII[20]

  • Years of service: 1997–2020
  • Length: 80 feet (24 m)
  • Breadth: 30 feet (9.1 m)
  • Depth: 10 feet (3.0 m)
  • Gross tonnage: 155[25]
  • Engine: two 350-horsepower (260 kW) diesel
  • Passengers: 600

Electric vesselsEdit

 
The two all-electric vessels are named after James V. Glynn, Maid of the Mist Chairman, and electric pioneer Nikola Tesla.

Beginning with the 2020 season, the Maid of the Mist launched two all-new electric ships, with a similar size and capacity to the prior diesel-powered ones.

James V. Glynn[26]

  • Years of service: 2020–present
  • Length: 90 feet (27 m)
  • Breadth: 34 feet (10 m)
  • Depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)
  • Propulsion System: Lithium-ion battery packs power the all-electric motor
  • Passengers: 600

Nikola Tesla[26]

  • Years of service: 2020–present
  • Length: 90 feet (27 m)
  • Breadth: 34 feet (10 m)
  • Depth: 6 feet (1.8 m)
  • Propulsion System: Lithium-ion battery packs power the all-electric motor
  • Passengers: 600

Little Maid

  • A small tug-like vessel found at the docks on the American side

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Maid of the Mist unveils names of two newest boats". Bairdmaritime.com. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  2. ^ Spiteri, Ray (2 September 2013). "Myths of Niagara". Niagara Falls Review. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  3. ^ John Brandt Mansfield (1899). History of the Great Lakes ... J.H. Beers & Company. pp. 652–.
  4. ^ Barbara Hopkinson; Lorraine Johnson (1 May 2013). Top 10 Toronto. DK Publishing. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-1-4654-1230-0.
  5. ^ John Disturnell (1857). A trip through the lakes of North America: embracing a full description of the St. Lawrence River, together with all the principal places on its banks, from its source to its mouth ; commerce of the lakes, etc. ; forming altogether a complete guide for the pleasure traveler and emigrant ; with maps and embellishments. Published by J. Disturnell. pp. 213–.
  6. ^ Willard V. Anderson (1954). Ships and the Sea. Kalmbach Publishing Company.
  7. ^ Niagara Parks Commission (Ont.) (1896). Annual Report of the Niagara Parks Commission. Niagara Parks Commission. pp. 137–.
  8. ^ "MAID OF THE MIST (1885, Excursion Vessel)". Nemoha.org. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  9. ^ Gene Buel; Scott Buel (2012). Marine City. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 118–. ISBN 978-0-7385-9180-3.
  10. ^ a b "Unclear Future for Mainstay of Niagara Mist". The New York Times. 24 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Niagaraparks.com". Niagaraparks.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  12. ^ "Niagarafallsstatepark.com". Niagarafallsstatepark.com. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  13. ^ Steve Briggs (2018). "Russel Brothers Boats Archive". Steve Briggs.
  14. ^ "MAID OF THE MIST II - Historical Collections of the Great Lakes".
  15. ^ "The Niagara Falls Movie: "Legends and Daredevils"". Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: IMAX Theater. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008.
  16. ^ Ian Walter Radforth (2004). Royal Spectacle: The 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the United States. University of Toronto Press. pp. 300–. ISBN 978-0-8020-8665-5.
  17. ^ "Marilyn Monroe's room at the Crowne Plaza, Niagara Falls". Torontosun.com. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Famous Visitors". Niagara Parks. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  19. ^ Edwin C. Guillet (15 December 1933). Early Life in Upper Canada. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. pp. 78–. ISBN 978-1-4875-9803-7.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Maid History | Niagara Falls Boat Rides & Trips | Maid of the Mist". Maidofthemist.com. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  21. ^ Results for Vessel: Maid of the Mist III, United States Coast Guard Maritime Information eXchange (CGMIX)
  22. ^ Results for Vessel: Maid of the Mist IV, United States Coast Guard Maritime Information eXchange (CGMIX)
  23. ^ Results for Vessel: Maid of the Mist V, United States Coast Guard Maritime Information eXchange (CGMIX)
  24. ^ Results for Vessel: Maid of the Mist VI, United States Coast Guard Maritime Information eXchange (CGMIX)
  25. ^ Results for Vessel: Maid of the Mist VII, United States Coast Guard Maritime Information eXchange (CGMIX)
  26. ^ a b "Watch the launch of our all-electric vessels | Niagara Falls Boat Rides & Trips | Maid of the Mist". Maidofthemist.com. Retrieved 30 November 2021.

External linksEdit